Contact Information

Office: GH-437

Voice: 657-278-3460

Dept: 657-278-3163

Brian Michael Norton



Mike received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from New York University in 2006. His research is rooted in eighteenth-century English and comparative literature, focusing especially on the novel, the Enlightenment, ethics, and the essay.  He is particularly interested in intersections of forms and ideas in the period.


2006, Ph.D., New York University

1998, M.A., New School for Social Research

1995, B.A., New School for Social Research

Research Areas

Eighteenth-century literature, the Enlightenment, ethics, aesthetics and everyday life

Courses Regularly Taught

The eighteenth-century novel; Restoration and eighteenth-century literature; comparative literature


 “Aesthetics, Science, and the Theater of the World,” New Literary History 51, 3 (2020): 639-659.

“Happiness,” Oxford Handbook of Samuel Johnson, edited by Jack Lynch (forthcoming).

“The Spectator, Aesthetic Experience and the Modern Idea of Happiness,” English Literature 2, 1 (Summer 2015): 87-104.

“The Spectator and Everyday Aesthetics,” Lumen 34 (2015): 123-136.

“Laurence Sterne and the Aesthetics of Everyday Life,” in Sterne, Tristram, Yorick: Tercentenary Essays on Laurence Sterne, ed. Peter de Voogd, Judith Hawley, and Melvyn New (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 2015), 219-37.

“Ancient Ethics and Modern Happiness: A Study of Three Treatises in Enlightenment Britain,” Eighteenth-Century Life 38, 2 (Spring 2014): 47-74.

“Sterne Studies at the Tercentenary,” Eighteenth-Century Life, 38, 1 (Winter 2014): 128-133.

“Emma Courtney, Feminist Ethics, and the Problem of Autonomy,” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 54, 3 (Fall 2013): 297-315. 

Fiction and the Philosophy of Happiness: Ethical Inquiries in the Age of Enlightenment (Bucknell University Press, 2012; paperback 2014).

“After the Summum Bonum: Novels, Treatises and the Enquiry after Happiness,” in Theory and Practice in the Eighteenth Century: Writing Between Philosophy and Literature, ed. Christina Lupton and Alexander Dick (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2008), 211-224. 

“The Moral in Phutatorius’s Breeches: Tristram Shandy and the Limits of Stoic Ethics,”

Eighteenth-Century Fiction 18, 4 (Summer 2006): 405-423.


Office Hours

Fall 2024

To Be Announced